Thursday, 16 November 2017

Meeting the donkeys!



We've done a lot of activities lately that encapsulate our #NoLimits theme so sometimes its nice just to slow down and smell the hay. This event was aimed a little more at the smaller members of Little Hiccups who are not quite old enough to join us on the bigger events such as skiing or at water sports.


During the half term holidays in October we went to visit the Donkey Sanctuary in Adel.  The Donkey Sanctuary is also a charity that offers donkey assisted interaction to children with additional needs. Because who doesn't love a donkey! 







x




"Donkeys have a unique presence, a zen-like grounded quality. We’re using their abilities as sentient facilitators and encouraging them to be an equal partner in the session." Caron Whaley, Director of Donkey Assisted Therapy.
Initially, the programme involved riding therapy for children with additional needs but over the past four decades it has evolved to cater for users with emotional and cognitive needs as well as physical. As a consequence we are developing a new model focusing on self-esteem, coping mechanisms, conflict management, empathy and many other skills.
Children with physical, social and behavioural difficulties gain confidence, improved life skills and a sense of achievement from the programme. And the donkeys – many of whom have been rescued from a life of neglect, mistreatment or abandonment – gain a new and rewarding life engaging with lots of people.
Our children certainly seemed to enjoy themselves on the day and get a lot out of meeting the donkeys and we got some beautiful smiles from them all. The children got a 20 minute ride on the donkeys where they also played some hand eye coordination games like putting a toy bird in its nest. Children that were waiting to go on the donkeys were also invited to play outside in the play area or in the Sensory room. And as it was close to Halloween we also jazzed up the event with spooky fancy dress for a bit of fun. We had some fantastic looking costumes scaring everyone but fortunately the donkeys all took it in their stride!  

We were also honoured that one of our regulars, Callum decided to join us on his birthday. We hoped that he had a fantastic day and that he enjoyed his cake! Happy Birthday Callum!
As well as visiting the donkeys we also held a cake bake to raise funds for Cash for Kids.  Cash for Kids is also a Charity and their goal is to respond to the needs of children in the communities so they can live life to the full and realise their individual potential. Every Christmas they run Mission Christmas where they collect gifts for disadvantaged children. For the past few years, they have contributed towards the Little Hiccups Christmas party and with their donations they've helped make it a party to remember and helped create so  many special memories for many special children.

Little Hiccups is pleased to announce that the bake sale raised a fantastic £119 which Little Hiccups is matching. A massive thank you to everyone who contributed and donated to such a fabulous cause. It was hard work eating those cakes but I suppose someone had to do it!
"Thank you Little Hiccups for your trip to the Leeds Donkey Sanctuary (Halloween style), yesterday, as it was another "great" trip, and Nathan absolutely "loved it! And the donkeys lol! And Nathan looked like he was someone from to the manor born, with his fancy dress and his riding helmet on lol!"

"Thank you again so much. I can't believe how much Callum loved been on the donkeys and I was super worried. 100% going again. We had a lovely morning."
"We had a fab morning with the donkeys. Thank you so much x"

"Thanks a lot guys was a lovely morning x"

"Thank you once again little hiccups for a lovely morning at the donkey sanctuary xxxxxxxx"